Instagram is hot at the moment – it is one of the fastest growing social media channels.
In fact, after Facebook and Youtube, Instagram is the biggest social media channel in Australia – around 1 in 3 Australians use Instagram.
So if you are a complete novice or an Instagram expert, here are some tips to follow to get the most out of this exciting social media channel.
What do you want to achieve?
Before you dive into the world of Instagram, you should think about what you want to achieve. For example do you want to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your web site
- Increase the reach (and success) of your marketing campaign
- Identify and establish relationships with influencers
The next step is your profile – some tips:
- Choose a great photo that reflects your brand
- Include a keyword with your name and descriptions
- Include hashtags and a profile link (for example to a landing page to capture a person’s details for a free giveaway)
- Add an URL to your bio (to your web site or a blog)
- Use line breaks, Emojis, and custom fonts to fine-tune your bio and make it stand out
- Add your contact info
- Add Story Highlights (such as an intro, links to social media, testimonials, programs etc) – this gives viewers quick access to the content you most want them to see. More on Stories later on.
So what do I start posting?
Now it is time to start posting – some top tips:
- Have a post schedule so you know what to post and when
- Use beautiful, striking images that capture your audience’s attention (think lighting, themes, composition and style)
- Captions – to give people more information about the image
- Use Hashtags in your captions which are relevant and relate to your brand, industry, niche and popular etc (9 hashtags receive the most engagement).
As to how often to post, there is no magic number – it comes down to your audience and content but aim for once to three times a day. The more you post, the better the chance more people will see your stream and the greater the chance you get more followers! Just post great content and keep it consistent.
How to get more followers and engagement
So now you have started posting, how do you get more followers?
- Use Hashtags and emojis
- Engage with other users
- Use your web site and other social media channels
- Use Instagram ad campaigns and promotions
- Host an Instagram competition and giveaways
- Like, comment, follow and send direct messages to increase the chance of someone following you back
- Direct message anyone (especially those who may be hot leads) who likes any of your photos
- Send new followers (who could be a potential client), a direct message of thanks and see if they would like a freebie or want to join your Facebook group
- Look at following more of your target audience (based on places, hashtags and people) – around 20% will follow you back
- Identify your competitors and look at following some of their followers
Some cool features of Instagram you should be using!
You can post videos up to a minute on Instagram (and I always recommending using videos as videos always get more engagement than just images).
Live Video is different than Instagram Video because it’s live. Here’s how it works:
- Followers get a push notification telling them you’re going live
- Followers can comment on or like your Live Video stream in real time
- The video is gone after you end it (it doesn’t save to your account)
This is another way for you to build brand transparency and authenticity with your audience.
One of the biggest additions to Instagram is Instagram Stories.
Stories are similar to Snapchat in that you can add clips of a video to a story which is viewable for 24 hours before it disappears.
You can view Story content as many times as you want within that 24-hour period. They appear as little circles in the top of your followers’ feeds. You can add hashtags, locations, stickers, and polls to your stories.
A neat trick is to add highlights which are Stories that you have selected to live on beyond their usual 24-hour lifespan. If you created a Story that you’re particularly proud of, for example, you can choose to display it at as Highlight on your profile page, giving viewers quick access to the content you most want them to see.
Tracking the results
It is important to always measure how well your social media activities are performing and Instagram is no different. Make sure you check which posts get the most engagement, how your audience is growing and don’t forget to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing!
Article written by Michelle Le Grand for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Summer 2018 Edition.